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September 11, 2017

Dear Colleagues, Students, Friends,

I am writing to share with you information, observations, and recommendations related to the August 11 white supremacist march on Grounds. Now posted on the Deans Working Group website is a timeline of events of that afternoon and evening prepared by the University Police Department in conjunction with the Office of University Counsel. We have also included suggestions for how the University could have improved its response.

We are devastated that white supremacists violated our Grounds and put members of our community in harm’s way. Our goal is to prevent that from occurring again. Threats and intimidation have no place on our Grounds, and as the Rector, President, and larger University community have made clear, the University will not tolerate them. Reckoning with the events of the weekend of August 11 requires a long-term commitment to creating a safer, more equitable, tolerant, and inclusive university community. It also requires us to model for the larger society those values that make the University unique. Among those values are reflection and learning.

As the Deans Working Group turns to the next phases of our work—examining the University’s culture, climate, and landscape, and investing in research and teaching around the issues August 11 has made only more urgent—we will continue to solicit ideas and suggestions from all members of the University community. I welcome and urge your continued input.

Risa Goluboff
Dean, School of Law

 

August 23, 2017

  1. The University has expanded police coverage across Grounds.
     
  2. The University has extended the Ambassadors program to provide on-Grounds coverage, including of the Lawn and residential areas.
     
  3. The University Police Department (UPD) is coordinating closely with schools and units in order to provide additional security support for upcoming events.
     
  4. The University has hired Margolis Healy & Associates, a highly respected higher education safety and security consulting firm, to conduct a comprehensive review of our safety and security infrastructure, policies, and tools.
     
  5. UPD is continuing to collaborate with their counterparts in other agencies (e.g., Charlottesville Police Department and Albemarle County Police Department) to monitor activities and respond to emergencies.
     
  6. University Counsel is reviewing state laws and University policies governing weapons on Grounds.
     
  7. The University is continuing to reach out to our students and employees who were injured.
     
  8. UPD is actively investigating several incidents that occurred on the evening of August 11, and the University is asking for the prosecution of any and all violations of the law.
     
  9. The University is reviewing the application of its safety alert protocols in light of the August 11-12 events and will educate the community about such protocols and their application.
     
  10. Going forward, UPD will be informed whenever the Office of Environmental Health and Safety approves uses of open flame devices on Grounds. This will allow UPD to take appropriate action against use that does not have such approval.
     
  11. UPD is committed to full enforcement of section 18.2-423.01 of the Virginia Code, which states “any person who, with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons, burns an object on a highway or other public place in a manner having a direct tendency to place another person in reasonable fear or apprehension of death or bodily injury is guilty of a Class 6 felony.”
     
  12. The Faculty and Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) has participated in several Town Halls for students, staff and faculty to reflect on the events of August 11 and 12.
     
  13. Ongoing programming is being developed by the various schools, the Working Group, the Division of Student Affairs, the Provost’s office and faculty, staff and student groups and individuals.  Information about that programming will be updated frequently and will be available on the website.
     
  14. The Deans Working Group has created a website that will serve as a central hub for its efforts.  On that website you will find resources, updates, and a community input form for ideas and concerns.